A Delta State High Court sitting in Effurun has dismissed the preliminary objections put forth by Nigerian singer, David Adeleke, also known as Davido, and his company, Davido Music Worldwide.
They had challenged the court’s authority to handle the breach of contract case brought against them by Amaju Pinnick and Brownhill Investment Company Limited regarding the annual ‘Warri Again Concert’.
In addition, the court dismissed another objection raised by Davido Music Worldwide and Israel Afeare, questioning the court’s authority to hear the defamation case filed against them.
Pinnick, a former President of the Nigeria Football Federation, had called out singer Davido for failing to perform at the event despite being paid $94,600.
“We paid Davido $94,600 on the 6th of April. We paid $18,000 for his plane. If he says he’s a big boy, we will tell him we are bigger than him,” Pinnick said in October during the 19th edition of the event.
Pinnick, who owns Brownhill Investments Company Limited, filed the suit, marked EHC/183/2023 before the court in November.
The claimant, through its lawyer, Kelechi Onwuegbuchulem, is asking the court to award N2bn as general damages against Davido and his music label, Davido Music Worldwide Limited.
The claimant is praying the court to award against Davido the sum of N150m as legal and professional fees and an additional sum of N30m as the cost of filing the suit.
It also wants the court to order the singer “to tender a public apology on all the 1st defendant’s social media accounts/handles and in two national daily newspapers for four consecutive days, to the claimant and attendees.”
The defendants argued that the lawsuit was premature and a debt recovery case since the claimant had not sent a letter of demand seeking repayment of the money they had claimed in the complaint.
However, the court dismissed their claims in its decision on Wednesday.
The court acknowledged the argument made by the claimant’s counsel that the requested reliefs should be considered together rather than separately to understand the nature of the lawsuit.
The court also held that the requested reliefs indicated a contract violation, eliminating the need for a formal letter of demand.
In a related defamation case, the court asserted its authority to hear and decide on the matter within its jurisdiction.
According to the court, it has been confirmed that the claimant, who lives in Delta, was in the state when the defendants published the supposed defamatory content online.
Furthermore, they also accessed and saw the defamatory statements while in the state.
The cases have been adjourned for hearing of other pending applications.
The defendants’ counsel mentioned that they were actively working towards resolving the case when the possibility of an out-of-court settlement was brought up.
However, the claimant argued that because they rejected the idea of a settlement on their terms, there had been no progress.